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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 31, 2019


JM DE GUZMAN doesn’t have any qualms talking about his past. It’s an open book that he went into rehab for substance abuse and, at the presscon of his new movie, “Last Fool Show”, he was asked about his opinion on the proposal of the PDEA (Phil. Drug Enforcement Agency) for local celebrities to take the drug test.

“I think it’s a smart move for the PDEA,” he says. “As actors, we have a social responsibility to set a good example to others. It’s common knowledge that I was in rehab for three years. I was with addicts and pushers. Ako, I’m thankful na binigyan ako ng chance na makabalik ui and now I also want to help others na may pinagdaraanang gaya ng pinagdaanan ko.”

JM had his rehab at the Self Enhance for Life Foundation or SELF. “While I was there, I spent 33 days, from 6 AM to 9 PM, just facing the wall. I was not allowed to communicate with others, basta nakaharap lang ako sa wall. It was there that I had a turning point in my life, that I accepted that I need to recover.”

 He was released in July last year and ABS-CBN got him to star in “Araw Gabi” with Barbie Imperial. He then made his first comeback movie, “Kung Paano Siya Nawala”, which didn’t do well at the box office. Hopefully, “Last Fool Show”, will be received more warmly by viewers at the theaters.

“I still fight everyday,” JM adds. “It’s still a struggle and I try my best not to show people that I still have internal conflicts within me. But with the Lord and a lot of helping me, I know malalampasan ko all the other trials that might come my way.”

In “Last Fool Show”, he plays the role of Paulo, the former boyfriend of Arci Munoz who plays Mayessa, a writer-director of indie films who has decided to do a movie about their past relationship. In the process, Arci gets to relive their past sweet memories that might just hopefully lead to a reconciliation. So how is it working with Arci?

“This is our first time to work together but we’ve known each other for a long time,” he says. “We were both freshmen students in UP in 2005, teenagers pa kami, taking up theatre arts, so magkakilala na kami kaya we’re comfortable with each other. It’s fun working with her kasi we even recalled our past when we were working behind the scenes sa UP theatre and we help backstage sa costumes and props of the plays that was produced at that time.

"Masaya, magaan katrabaho si Arci at ang aming director, si Eduard Roy Jr. na also lots of fun to work with. Mas una siyang nakilala as an indie director in acclaimed films like ‘Bahay Bata’, ‘Quick Change’ and ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’. First mainstream film niya ito and first romcom din. He’s very good. We enjoyed working with him.”

JM should really be thankful that despite what he went through with his addiction, it didn’t ruin his good looks at all but he now comes out even better looking than before. You won’t even suspect that he was once hooked into drugs. “Last Fool Show” is from Star Cinema & ABS-CBN Films. JM and Arci are supported by Gina Alajar, Arlene Muhlach, Bibeth Orteza, Jaymee Katanyag, Via Antonio, Josef Elizalde, Menggie Cobrarrubias, Cholo Barretto and many more.